Dec. 19, 1997

Bowie's Game-Winning Three Puts Bears in Oakland Tribune Classic Final

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Paige Bowie hit her fourth three-pointer of the game with just three second remaining in double overtime and the California women's basketball team defeated the George Mason Patriots, 70-69, in the nightcap of the Oakland Tribune Classic Friday. It was Cal's first double overtime contest since 75-72 win at San Francisco on Jan 2, 1988. The victory evened Cal's record at 4-4 on the season and put the Bears in the Classic championship for the 15 straight year.

Paige Bowie
Paige Bowie led the Bears offensively with 16 points. (File Photo)

The Bears will face Ohio State, 76-56 winners over Howard in the opening game of the Oakland Tribune Classic, in Saturday's championship game at 7:30 p.m. PT, while George Mason will face Howard in the consolation game at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Things didn't start out well for Cal however as the Bears connected on just 8-of-29 field goals (27.6 percent) and endured an 11 minute scoring drought in the first half. But a strong defensive effort that forced 13 Patriot turnovers allowed the Bears to stay in the game and Cal trailed George Mason by just six points, 25-19, at the half.

Cal came out of the locker room and scored the first six points to even the contest at 25-25 just 2:32 into the second half. However, neither team could put together a significant run and take control of the game until Cal rattled of eight unanswered points to take a 53-45 advantage with just 2:39 left in the game.

But George Mason responded with an 8-0 run of its own to tie the contest at 53-53 with 0:40 left on the clock.

Cal had two opportunities to put the game away, once in regulation and once at the end of the first overtime. The first came with only 0:30 remaining in the game when Masa Radovic scored on a driving lay up and was fouled to put the Bears up 55-53. However she could not complete the three-point play and after Jennie Leander got the rebound and also was unable to convert her free throws, George Mason's Krista Jay nailed a jumper from the top of the key with 0:03 left in the game to send it into overtime.

The second came with just seconds remaining in the first OT when Tamara Inoue came up with a steal and hit a wide open Kenya Corley, who was streaking toward the basket. However Corley was unable to convert the lay up and the first OT ended tied at 61.

In addition to hitting the game-winner, Bowie also led the Bears in scoring with 16 points, including hitting 4-of-7 threes. Leander scored six points in the second overtime en route to a posting her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 boards. Lauren Ashbaugh also had a solid games for Cal collecting a career-high 13 rebounds.

George Mason was led by senior shooting guard Jay. Jay, who has been in double figures in every contest this season for the Patriots, connected on just 8-of-21 from the field but was good on 12-of-13 freethrows and finished the contest with a game-high 29 points.